[image url="http://huify.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Social-Gold-Rush.jpg" width="auto" height="auto" align="right" overlay="true"]
The days of quick results from social media efforts are coming to an end. Unless you are a well-known brand, it is going to take time and patience in order to gain a following and build trust with your audience. With management and clients seeking results, it can often be stressful for social media managers to provide immediate feedback.
So what should clients be looking for when they first start off a social media campaign? What are some short and long term metrics to keep an eye on while outsourcing social media? Let’s take a look at three large platforms
Short term: Creation-6 months
As a social media team/consultant/intern begins to overtake your social strategy, there are many short-term results, which should be visible on Facebook. While looking over your page, there should be:
· Original content
· Engaging questions
· Backlinks to blog posts and promotional content
Though engagement may be low, consistency will pay off and your audience will begin to join the conversation. Expect an initial “like” push when your page is first created. However, there will be a point where each additional like must be earned through engagement, Facebook ads, or additional content. The key to success in the short term is to create original content directed specifically at your target audience.
Long Term: 6 months-2 years
[image url="http://huify.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Facebook-Beach.jpg" width="auto" height="auto" align="center" overlay="true"]Depending on your industry or budget, six months may seem slightly to long or short of a waiting period, however it now takes time to see results and it is a good measurement to work by. Consistency is crucial when looking at long-term Facebook results. Whoever you decided to hire should have prepared, implemented, and followed through with a content schedule. At least two posts a week should be the norm and your audience should be engaging regularly with your content. Depending on your industry, some of these metrics may vary, but 6 months is usually enough time to create a community willing to engage your efforts.
When seeking out an appropriate number of likes, your social team should have set goals early on and have reasons for reaching, or not reaching, the required numbers. Though there are a number of ways to generate likes without advertising, part of your social budget should be dedicated to advertising your page. If your social media team has been consistent, and you are unhappy with the results, hold a meeting to discuss what roadblocks have arisen and find out ways to work through them.
Although Pinterest may still seem like the wild west of social platforms, it has become increasingly harder to have an original pin go viral unless it is truly incredible content. This being said, you should be looking for:
· boosts in Pinterest related traffic to your website
· increases in “impressions” in analytics
· Repins, likes, new boards, increase in followers
It can take quite a bit of time to gain a large following on Pinterest, but consistent pinning, commenting, and liking of pins will start to build your credibility. Don’t worry at first about adding an insane amount of original content, as it can appear spammy. Your social team should work on boosting backlinks and enhancing the aesthetics of your Pinterest landing page in order to increase potential followers.
For some industries, Pinterest can become the number one referral site if managed properly. Once a following has been established, you should be giving any new photos, product releases, or blog post ideas to your Pinterest team so they can be launched and become popular. Though there is no set standard for how many followers to expect, setting realistic goals early on can give a benchmark for you and your social team to discuss.
By this time, your team should have also started a few boards featuring original content and/or fun board directly associated with the company. Though Pinterest users aren’t looking to be advertised to, beautiful shots of your merchandise or fun stories featuring employees can take the platform a long way.
Twitter can be an amazing tool for customer interaction, news releases, and can eventually become a lead generator. However, it will take time and patience from you and your social team in order to take your Twitter handle from zero to famous.
One quick way to be consistent in posting is to have your Facebook posts auto-post directly to Twitter. This strategy can work early on, but be sure that the posts translate well to the 140 character platform. Early on you should be looking for:
· Following and follower count increase
· Consistent and optimally time tweets
· Proactive conversations
Twitter can be a tough platform to conquer in the early stages. Your team should however be knowledgeable about your industry and try answering questions, joining conversations, and seeking out industry professionals to follow for ideas.
Building a Twitter audience takes time, but can be one of the most rewarding social platforms if carried out successfully. Though follower count may seem like the most obvious metric to observe for success, high engagement can actually prove to be more successful. You should be looking to become the professional in your industry where users go to ask questions regarding your product and receive feedback.
Try scrolling through your own wall of tweets and determining how many times you have tweeted verse the number you were @mentioned verse number of retweets. Measuring these numbers can give you an engagement index to determine the social engagement of your Twitter strategy.
In the end, social media could still be considered in infancy, but the days of instant results are rapidly dissapearing. Management and social clients must look past the initial case studies and realize that building trust with an audience takes time. Are you a social media manager or a social client? Feel free to leave your opinion in the comments!